Orion, SLS Development Continues to Take Shape for Inaugural Late 2018 Launch

An SLS Block 1 launch vehicle hoists an Orion spacecraft from KSC's Pad 39B, with the VAB in the distance. Image Credit: NASA/MSFC

An SLS Block 1 launch vehicle hoists an Orion spacecraft from KSC’s Pad 39B, with the VAB in the distance. Image Credit: NASA/MSFC

It seems as if we’re galloping toward the end of 2016, and we’re getting closer by the day to the “dawn” of a new U.S. launch vehicle and human-rated spacecraft. […]

Back to the Moon? New House Bill Defunds NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission

Artist's conception of the Asteroid Redirect Mission. The new House bill directs NASA to bypass this mission and return to the Moon instead, before going to Mars. Image Credit: NASA

Artist’s conception of the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). The new House bill directs NASA to bypass this mission and return to the Moon instead, before going to Mars. Image Credit: NASA

Sending human astronauts to Mars is a dream shared by many, but there are still challenges to overcome and the question of just […]

Second SLS Qualification Booster Test Fire Scheduled for June 28

A full-scale, test version of the booster for NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System, will fire up for the second of two qualification ground tests June 28 at prime contractor Orbital ATK's test facility in Promontory, Utah. File photo after the QM-1 test fire in 2015. Photo Credit: Orbital ATK

A full-scale, test version of the booster for NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System, will fire up for the second of two qualification ground tests June 28 at prime contractor Orbital ATK’s test facility in Promontory, Utah. Photo Credit: Orbital ATK

The solid rocket booster that will propel NASA’s skyscraper-size, 300-plus-foot-tall Space Launch […]

NASA Announces Payloads for First SLS Mission

An SLS in its Block 1 configuration goes up, up, and away in this artist’s rendering. Image Credit: NASA/MSFC

It may still be almost three years into the future, but the maiden voyage of NASA’s gigantic Space Launch System (SLS) booster—destined to carry humans beyond low-Earth orbit for the first time in five decades—drew […]

Super Guppy Delivers Orion EM-1 Structure to KSC for 2018 Inaugural SLS Flight

The structure of the first Orion spacecraft destined to fly atop NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket in late 2018 on Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) arrived at the agency's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida Feb. 1, 2016. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

The structure of the first Orion spacecraft destined to fly atop NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket in late 2018 on Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) arrived at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida Feb. 1, 2016. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

The Orion spacecraft destined to fly atop NASA’s Space Launch System […]

First SLS Work Platform Installed in KSC's Vehicle Assembly Building High Bay 3

From NASA: "Inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the 325-ton crane lifts the first half of the K-level work platforms up for installation in High Bay 3 on Dec. 22. The platform will be secured into position on tower E, about 86 feet above the floor." Photo Credit: NASA/Glen Benson

From NASA: “Inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the 325-ton crane lifts the first half of the K-level work platforms up for installation in High Bay 3 on Dec. 22. The platform will be secured into position on tower E, about 86 feet above the floor.” Photo Credit: […]

One Year After EFT-1: What's Been Learned, What's Ahead for NASA's Orion in 2016

It's been one year since the successful Orion Exploration Flight Test-1, and in the time since NASA and Lockheed Martin have learned quite a bit about how their capsule flies in space, and have begun applying those lessons to the actual spacecraft that will fly beyond the moon in 2018 on the first launch of NASA's colossal Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. Photo Credit: John Studwell / AmericaSpace

It’s been one year since the successful Orion Exploration Flight Test-1, and in the time since NASA and Lockheed Martin have learned quite a bit about how their capsule flies in space and have begun applying those lessons to the actual spacecraft that will fly beyond the moon in 2018 on the first launch […]

Capping A Milestone Year, NASA Announces Completion of SLS Critical Design Review

The SLS. Image Credit: NASA

From NASA: “For the first time in almost 40 years, a NASA human-rated rocket has completed all steps needed to clear a critical design review (CDR). The agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) is the first vehicle designed to meet the challenges of the journey to Mars and the first exploration class rocket since the […]

SLS Development RS-25 Engine Ignites for Successful Full Duration Test Fire #6

The world's most efficient rocket engine unleashing 512,000 pounds of thrust and a thunderous roar across southern Mississippi and NASA's Stennis Space Center during a 535-second full power test fire in August 2015. The same engine that powered the space shuttle so reliably for years, the RS-25, will again be employed for NASA's Space Launch System, upgraded to meet the new requirements for what will become the most powerful rocket in history. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

The world’s most efficient rocket engine came to life again today, unleashing 512,000 pounds of thrust and a thunderous roar across southern Mississippi and NASA’s Stennis Space Center during a 535-second full power test fire. The same engine that powered the space shuttle so reliably for years, the RS-25, will again be employed for […]

Clarifying NASA's Budget Regarding Orion, SLS, and SpaceX / Boeing Commercial Crew

A ULA Delta-IV Heavy launching NASA's Orion spacecraft on its first orbital flight test, WFT-1, in Dec. 2014. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

 

The launch of NASA’s Orion spacecraft on its first spaceflight, EFT-1, last December. The capsule is intended for deep-space crewed missions starting in the next decade atop the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

As next year’s NASA budget is being written by the House and Senate […]